The shocking news that two Supreme Court justices have been brutally murdered is baffling to both the White House and the F.B.I.. The president, a conservative Republican, senses that there may be a political connection to his administration that could be damaging to his reelection bid. And he wants answers. But the FBI fails to establish a motive or come up with a credible list of suspects. Meanwhile in New Orleans, Darby Shaw, a Tulane law student, notes the timing of the murders and suspects that there may be a plot to pack the Court with conservatives. What is puzzling, however, is how dissimilar the murdered justices were. One was a ninety-year-old liberal patriarch of the Court, the other a young conservative justice.
After reviewing hundreds of cases which are scheduled to be heard by the Court, she finally discovers one that may contain an issue volatile enough to result in the killings. Darby writes a brief based on her research which reveals a surprising link between the two murdered justices.